On Coloring Characters

I realize that, in practice, I have never actually applied color to two of my characters, Razzle and Jason, despite have a vivid idea of what the colors actually are in my head. Thank the fact that I’ve never had any practical reason to actually do so. Razzle was never fully applied anyway, and Jason has so far gone in black and white. Honestly… I’ve considered doing upcoming installments of Jason in a Strange Land in color, especially as the surrealism of the whole crazy things extends. Considering the way I shade it I don’t think it would be too much of a hassle, as well.

Anyway, without further adieu, Razzle and Jason in glorious color:

One thing that came to clear to me as I was doing this, too – was just how often I make a main character a redhead. Examples throughout the last, oh, 20 or so years:

At least I have enough of a habit of varying the color of red, from Moxie’s coral color to Jason’s wine red. I’ve pondered this, and maybe it’s a penchant for redheads, maybe it’s because there’s a fair amount of red in my hair (depending on the light, har har) itself. It’s possible, there’s certainly a fair amount of me in all my characters — especially the leading ones. Jason’s melancholy, Moxie’s spirit and eagerness, and Sartris especially, as the intent is he’s a very direct reflection of me in many ways, albeit exaggerated in many respects. (more on this in another post).

Despite all this, the red hair has almost always been intentional. Stacy and Jeane are older characters and it’s a bit more difficult to recall correctly, especially since both these characters are more or less retired, anyway, so I don’t feel terribly obligated to dig that deep into my memory as it were. Moxie’s represents eagerness, Sartris’s represents fire. Razzle was meant to contrast the brown on her fur (saturation wise) and Jason’s… well, with Jason, I couldn’t see any other color in my head but that and grey. I think the muted wine color versus a more vibrant red reflects his melancholy as well.

I suppose my next wild project may have a redhead too. Signature of my characters maybe?

Character Comparison: Jeane Starre Vs. Moxie

A long, long time ago, in a state somewhat far away, I was working on and developing one of my first comics, Axis. It was way too ambitious for, uh, anyone… the whole idea of the comic was that it involved the history of an ancient order of warriors and another faction of hermetic mages that upheld a way of life and drove advancements in technology, their downfall, and how this related to modern times and a distant, apocalyptic future, and focused mainly on one family and its members in the past, present and future. I only ever really outlined it, the characters were “cool” but not developed, and it kind of always seemed it would have been a better RPG than comic.

I did toy a lot with Jeane Starre, the main character of the comic. Here is a couple images of her, drawn over 1,000 years ago (as in the late 90s):

Jeane StarreJeane Starre

Moxie, Meridian KnightsJeane herself went through many changes as the years went by, and I drew her. A LOT. For many years… and there’s clearly some influence on Jeane in Moxie. And by some, again, I mean a LOT. Moxie herself has gone through little redesign – just the initial character sketch, which is far more in style like Jeane, rather than the more cartoony, large headed version now.

This actually wasn’t a hugely conscious thing with Jeane and Moxie when I was originally designing the latter; it had been years, many years since I had really drawn Jeane. Really, with Meridian Knights, I knew I wanted a female protagonist, a fair balance of gender with in the game itself, but that’s about it. (In fact, gender is basically an afterthought after that — there are even two “gender-indeterminate” characters.) Perhaps something in my mind just wanted a red-head wearing green. Could be the red beard I sport. Who knows?

I treated the initial concepts of Meridian Knights like an onion – starting with a general concept, adding characters, then adding more specific gameplay, story and refining things. One conscious thing is that Moxie’s sword and Jeane’s sword are very similar, even in story – an ancient sword used by a great hero who slew a giant dragon single handedly with it. The red hair was an intentional character trait with Moxie, too, though less so with Jeane. Moxie is impatient, rushes into action, etc. Jeane was sullen and introverted, and thinking back, the red hair didn’t fit her much. Then again, it was over 20 years ago when I first drew her (excuse me while I let that one sink in…) and I didn’t pay nearly as much to details like that as I did now.

As an aside, if you’re wondering about Axis… don’t. It wasn’t all that interesting. And what little was, has been reused or will be reused in future works (there is a few things of note that would have happened in Axis that will happen in the upcoming Sartris comic should I ever get off my ass and do something with that.)